Outraged students accuse leader of rigging

Allegations of massive vote rigging during the July 31 elections were bolstered this week when one of the Zanu (PF) candidates issued numerous voter registration slips from the Registrar General’s office to National University of Science and Technology students during elections for the party’s Bulawayo central district.

The newly-elected NUST Students Representative council (SRC) led by president Luck Muza called students to a meeting at the large city hall, where they were told that the venue had been shifted to Fidelity House – site of the office of aspiring candidate Joe Chiyangwa.

“We were shocked when we were told to surrender our national identity cards to some youths who issued us with voter registration slips after filling our details. We were told to go to the party’s Davies Hall head office and vote for Chiyangwa,” said a student on condition of anonymity.

Zanu (PF) was accused of using fake registration slips to rig the July 31, elections especially in urban areas. The MDC-T rejected ZEC’s claim that Zanu (PF) had won a landslide victory, citing several anomalies – among them numerous problems with the voters roll and the clandestine issuing of thousands of voter registration slips, enabling them to bus people to vote in marginal constituencies.

Chiyangwa and Caleb Sengu were vying for the district chairmanship’s post. Before being bussed to Davies Hall in hired trucks, the students were addressed by Chiyangwa who promised them beer, food and cheap accommodation if he won.

“He also promised to provide free transport and cheap accommodation for students who are residing outside the university campus,” said another student.

When contacted for comment Chiyangwa at first denied knowledge of the slips. But then he asked which newspaper was calling, and upon being told it was The Zimbabwean he replied: “Sorry wrong number.”

More than ten students were arrested by police after supporters aligned to Sengu unearthed the plot to rig the elections and reported the matter to Bulawayo Central Police, where senior party officials reportedly negotiated for their release. Sengu confirmed that his rival tried to rig the election using fake voting slips.

“Yes I can confirm that fake voting slips were confiscated from about 200 NUST students who had been hired to vote in the internal elections. The party had agreed that aspiring voters should be in the party’s structures and on the national voters roll. As a proof for registration, voters were asked to bring voter registration slips used during the July 31 elections,” said Sengu.

NUST students have petitioned Muza to resign, accusing him of being a Zanu (PF) activist.

Post published in: News

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